One of the most beautiful yet underrated national parks is Grand Teton National Park. Situated just below Yellowstone, many people spend all their time visiting Yellowstone and breeze through this park. If you’re a hiker, you’ll want to check out all the hikes in Grand Teton that there are to do, so I recommend spending a few days here.
If you’ve never heard of this park, it sits in Moose, Wyoming–only about 65 miles from Yellowstone National Park. If you are interested in Yellowstone too, then a Seattle to Yellowstone road trip is definitely worth taking, as it has many scenic stops along the way.
When I planned my trip to Yellowstone several years ago, I was actually most excited to go to Grand Teton after. It was a nice change of pace from being around all the people in Yellowstone, especially since it was summer aka tourist-central when I visited. I found Grand Teton to be quiet and relaxing and already hope to go back in the future.
Here are some of the best Grand Teton hikes you’ll want to do.
11 Best Hikes in Grand Teton to Do
Are you an Alpinist (someone who loves to hike) looking for your next trek spot? Let me introduce you to the best hikes Grand Teton has to offer. Grand Teton National Park is large and beautiful, filled with pristine lakes, tall conifers, fauna, and flora.
The Grand Teton extends 310,000 acres, with a 40-mile-long Teton Mountain Range for mountaineers to marvel at. There’s a hike for all hikers at Grand Teton, from beginners to experts, so keep reading to discover which one is best for you.
While I have a one day itinerary for Grand Teton, you may want to extend your trip to do multiple hikes during your time here.
1. Jenny Lake Loop & Inspiration Point
Mileage: 7.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 250 feet
Difficulty Level: Easy
I will start you off with the most popular hiking trails at Grand Teton National Park. This is a common one people do after spending one day in Yellowstone.
Although easy, this trek shows you a good amount of the park. The Jenny Lake loop is the perfect introduction to the Grand Teton – an absolute must for newcomers.
The trail sits in the Jenny Lake Visitor Center, where you can leave your car. To trek the Jenny Loop, start with a walk from the parking lot to the south side of the lake near the boating dock. You’ll need to follow some signs to get here. Continue forth on the southern trail to complete the hike.
Many visitors would often take a ferry across the beautiful Jenny Lake, then take a steep walk up to Inspiration Point. If you also want to skip all the legwork, check out the shuttle service by Jenny Lake Boating for operating times and fees.
The trek rewards you with a lovely surprise at the end, as it takes you up to the breath-taking Inspiration Point. From this point, you get a fantastic view of the park, Jenny Lake, mountain ranges, and a 200 ft cascading waterfall, where you’ll see why it’s one of the best Teton hikes.
You can spot a moose or two during your walk along with spectacular views. The trail follows a loop, so you will end up where you’ve started.
Tip: The Jenny Lake Loop is the most popular trail, and it can become crowded, especially in summer. I suggest you make the loop early in the morning to avoid large crowds.
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2. Cascade Canyon Trail
Mileage: 10 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,100 feet
Difficulty Level: Moderate
The Cascade Canyon Trail takes you even deeper into Grand Teton Park. I recommend this trail to anyone who wants to spot more wildlife. You can get here by following the Jenny Loop.
Take a ferry across Jenny Lake, swing by the hidden falls, and take a deep breath of fresh air and stunning views from Inspiration Point. Then venture further to Cascade Canyon, where the canyon trail is more uphill and strenuous yet manageable for beginners.
Keep in mind that many had to turn around during the winter season before they even got to Lake Jenny, as some parts will have you standing in knee-deep snow.
The Jenny Lake Shuttle Boat is also closed in the colder months. For this reason, I prefer to go on the Cascade Canyon hike in summer when looking for the best trails in Grand Teton.
Fortunately, there is a snow-free way to complete the Cascade Canyon if you happen to be in Wyoming in winter. You need to park your car at the String Lake Trailhead parking lot, then follow along this trail.
Note: The Cascade Canyon is also a popular trail for camping and backpacking, so expect to meet other tree huggers.
3. String Lake Trail
Mileage: 1.8 miles
Elevation Gain: nearly flat
Difficulty Level: Easy
The easiest and shortest hike on this list is the String Lake Trail, making it one of the best day hikes in Grand Teton. Slight elevation and a mostly flat surface make this the perfect trail for a quick run or a warm-up walk. You’ll find String Lake at the end of the course for swimming and kayaking.
Once more, it’s an ideal summer excursion, so I suggest you bring along your swim gear and a towel for this one. You can find the beginning of this hike at the String Lake Trailhead parking lot. String Lake is the hot spot for the park’s Moose population.
The String Lake Trail connects with the Leigh Lake Trail, which allows you to explore even more. Venture between the two lakes on foot or paddle away on a boat.
Stroll along the crystal clear lakes as you take in the serene surroundings dotted with beautiful wildflowers. Remember to bring your camera for this trail to get candid shots of the moose and birds. I recommend this trail for relaxation, birdwatching, water activities, and picnics.
Note: The best time to visit String Lake and Leigh Lake is June to September.
4. Lake Solitude
Mileage: 15 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,250 feet
Difficulty Level: Hard
Lake Solitude is one of the more strenuous hikes in Grand Teton National Park. This fantastic trek takes about 8-12 hours to complete, so I advise you to arrive early. The hike begins at the Jenny Loop, and then you hike past Inspiration Point and Cascade Canyon. Finally, you’ll find the uphill trail that will take you to Lake Solitude.
The Lake Solitude Trail is easy to navigate through but strenuous – an avid hiker’s dream trek. Not only a dream for hikers, but photographers too, as this part of the park has some stunning views of the Teton mountain ranges. Contrary to its name, this trail can get super busy with hikers, campers, and backpackers. I recommend coming here during fall for gorgeous scenery.
You might meet a few Grand Teton residents, such as pika, moose, and deer. When you do these hikes that go very deep in the park, you want to prepare for anything. I suggest you keep a can of bear spray and wear your most comfortable hiking shoes.
Note: This is a very long hike – be prepared. Bring along sunblock, enough water, and proper attire in case of weather turnouts.
5. Phelps Lake Trail
Mileage: 7 miles
Elevation Gain: 800 feet
Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate
The Phelps Lake Trail is the perfect opportunity for beginners to up their hiking game when visiting this U.S. National Park. An easy to moderate trail that hikers can complete within 3-4 hours.
The hike is more secluded than the others and has an exciting history. The lake and its surrounding trail were once owned by the Rockefeller family, which is why this part of the park is known as the Rockefeller Preserve.
The trail is well preserved and clean. You can access the Phelps Lake trail by entering the Rockefeller Preserve parking lot.
There are many things to see on this stunning trail, from the unforgettable views to the fauna and flora — another must-see during fall and a good choice for swimming and water activities in summer.
Phelps is also the only lake in the Grand Teton that allows for a bit of rock jumping. Yes, fellow adrenaline junkies, the lake boasts an impressive boulder that you can dive from. I suggest you bring a towel and swim gear for this one.
Note: Many hikers have suggested bringing snowshoes on the Phelps Lake Trail.
6. Death Canyon Trail
Mileage: 8 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,100 feet
Difficulty Level: Strenuous
Grand Teton Park is filled with many beautiful gorges, and the Death Canyon is one of them that stands out. The trail is scenic and surrounded by camera-worthy views, and this hike is where you can spot the most bears (similar to Washington’s Mount Rainier in the summer!).
Many visitors have claimed to see more furry friends than humans, as the Death Canyon trail is not as busy as the others. So, keep the Death Canyon in mind if you want to do a quiet and secluded hike.
The gorgeous trail takes quite a long time to complete, extending up to 6 hours. Luckily, the Death Canyon hike has ample shade, and you can make a detour to Lake Phelps.
I need to add that this trail is not for the faint-hearted. The hike is rocky and uneven, with many fallen trees scattered about, which has had many hikers lose their way or end their hike.
To get to the Canyon Trail, you need to use the Phelps Lake Reserve parking. Remember that parking is not always accessible due to wind storms or heavy snow, so ensure the accessibility ahead of time.
Note: The Death Canyon is strenuous and takes time to complete. The trail is also rocky and maybe scattered with treefall. Dress comfortably and keep in mind that fallen trees may block your path.
7. Granite Canyon
Mileage: 11.7 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,877 feet
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Grand Teton National Park has something for every adventurer. The Granite Canyon hike is an excellent trail for mountain-loving hikers. Take in the fantastic changing scenery adorned with beautiful wildflowers.
I suggest you explore Granite Canyon with snowshoes during winter. The trail is quite deep and narrow. You’ll start the hike at the Granite Canyon Trailhead, accessed on Moose-Wilson Road. Stick to the northern fork of the path to end up at the charming Marion Lake. You’d have to do some strenuous climbing to get to Marion Lake, but it’s worth the effort.
Or you could take the southern fork instead, which will take you to Rendezvous Mountain. Once you’ve reached the top of Rendezvous Mountain, you can get on an exciting tram that will take you to Teton Village. On the other hand, taking the tram from Teton Village to the top of Rendezvous Mountain and then hiking down the Granite trail is just as impressive.
Note: The Granite Canyon Trail includes a tram ride that takes you up and down the mountain, which can be done free of charge. The hike can take up to 12 hours without using the tram.
8. Lupine Meadows Trailhead to Delta Lake
Mileage: 7 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,247 feet
Difficulty Level: Strenuous
Level up with the most challenging Grand Teton hike. The Lupine to Delta hike grants an opportunity for hikers to challenge themselves and reach fitness goals. What’s more, the Delta trail rewards you with detours to several lakes.
Find the beginning of the trail at the Lupine Meadows parking lot. From here, you will follow the Delta Lake hike. The rough terrain requires proper gear, so be prepared for this trek. Bring enough water and wear shoes with a grip to manage the uneven and loose soil.
Although this is a popular choice amongst passionate hikers, the trail is unofficial. That explains why it’s unkempt and overgrown, but this hasn’t kept trekkers away. The Delta Lake hike is prone to being quite snowy and slippery. So, if you decide to make the trail in the winter months, be wary of these conditions and dress accordingly.
When it snows, the lakes freeze up, and it looks magical, but then it is much harder to follow the trail. I suggest this specific hike for the summer months instead If you are not used to walking through dense snow.
Note: Watch out for fallen trees and mind your step on the unstable soil.
9. Taggart Lake Loop
Mileage: 3.8 miles
Elevation Gain: 420 feet
Difficulty Level: Easy
The Taggart Lake Loop is a well-liked hike because it’s short and one of the best easy hikes in Grand Teton – but there are still many things to do and see. Taggart Lake can get very crowded, so to avoid large crowds come early in the morning or later in the afternoon.
The loop takes about an hour to complete and is a sweet and short trail that rewards you with the most stunning views of the Teton mountain range. The Taggart trail is serene and affords you a stroll through the park. From this hike, you can spot wildlife, birdwatch, and look upon Lake Alpine.
You’ll run into many other visitors, some having a picnic or horse-riding. Walk and observe the beautiful surroundings, swim in the crystal clear lakes, or burst into a quick run through the trail.
I highly recommend this hike for photography, as you can capture the mountains, wildflowers, birds, and fauna. Find the Taggart Lake Trailhead off Teton Park Road and start the enchanting journey there. Detour to the Beaver Creek Trail to peer even deeper into the park.
Note: Taggart Lake Loop can get snow-covered at times. Make sure to have your snowshoes ready.
10. Surprise and Amphitheater Lakes
Mileage: 10.1 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,000 feet
Difficulty Level: Strenuous
Surprise and Amphitheater Lakes Trail is a 7-hour long, strenuous hike. But, it is also worth all the effort with a reward of two Alpine Lakes at the end. It is no surprise that this trail is a top choice amongst serial hikers, and the hike can take you on an extended journey through the park.
To get on the trail, you need to find the Lupine Meadows Trailhead, where you can park your car. This challenging route has a steep incline towards the end of the loop.
On the way, you will encounter fantastic views of the park and furry or feathered friends like pika, elks, and ducks. The lakes are well-known fishing spots. What more could you ask for in a forest trek?
Remember that the trail does steep for about 5 miles, and you will ascend to a height of 3,000 ft. If you are acrophobic, I suggest you skip this one. Then again, if you are in for a good surprise (see what I did there), then I urge you to take on this hike.
Note: You might catch a case of altitude sickness.
11. Bradley Lake Trail
Mileage: 5 miles
Elevation Gain: 560 feet
Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate
I will end this exciting list of Grand Teton National Park hikes with the Bradley Lake Trail. Catch the Bradley trail while you’re making the Taggart loop. The 2-hour hike is incredible for beginners but does have a few challenges here and there. You’ll see many trail runners and bird-watchers en route.
Like many other trekkers, I prefer to do the Bradley hike counterclockwise to get the most spectacular views for Instagram-worthy photos. The trail will grace you with a view of two pristine alpine lakes and the majestic Teton Range.
Although the area does receive snow, most hikers find that the trail is still manageable with regular sneakers. Lake Bradley is the perfect trail to wrap up a great visit to Grand Teton Park.
Note: Visit this trail from May to September for the best weather conditions.
Tips for Grand Teton National Park Hikes
Grand Teton Park requires a bit of planning and a few necessary items to get you through the day. So here are some tips to prepare you for your visit.
- The Grand Teton terrain is incredibly rocky, and you can risk hurting your feet and cutting the trail short without the right pair of shoes.
- The park has long-lasting glaciers and snowfields, so you always want to be prepared for these conditions. Wear proper gear/clothing such as base layers, snowshoes, thick socks, etc.
- Watch out for bears- you always want to be aware of them while visiting the park.
- You do have to pay a fee to enter the Grand Teton National Park.
Check out the weather conditions before heading out on a hike. Also, look at the National Park Service site to see Grand Teton fees and passes.
Best Time for Hikes in Teton National Park
You can visit most of the best hiking trails in Grand Teton all year round, and some entrances may be closed seasonally due to bad weather. I recommend a visit between May and September to experience the best hikes in Teton National Park.
Tip: Wind and snowstorms are common in the Teton Mountains, so check the weather ahead of time.
What to Pack for Grand Teton National Park Hikes
Regardless of choosing to do Grand Teton easy hikes or more strenuous ones, you’ll want to be prepared. Here are some essential items I always recommend carrying:
- Remember to always stay hydrated on these trails, no matter how short they may be, and have your water bottle handy.
- Bears like their privacy, so stay on your trail. If you happen to stumble too closely, you can use bear spray.
- Always venture into hiking parks with a first-aid kit in case of an accident.
- This one is a no-brainer. Make sure to have snowshoes when you hike Grand Teton.
Accommodation Near Teton National Park Hikes
You have several options for staying both in and near the park during your hikes at Grand Teton.
Staying Inside the Park
Camping on the park grounds would be the most budget-friendly option. By spending a few nights here, you fully embrace the Grand Teton. See the official Grand Teton camping site to find all options available but here are the top picks for camping sites:
- Colter Bay Campground is a popular camping site on the Jackson Lake shore. Over 300 camping sites are available on the campground, and it operates from May to September. You have many amenities at your disposal, such as laundry facilities, showers, and restaurants. Many trails link to the camping site, and you can partake in several water activities, including kayaking, fishing, and canoeing.
- Gros Ventre Campground is more secluded and deeper into the forest. The camping grounds are operational from late April to October. You can choose from more than 200 camping sites, and amenities include electric hookups, parking, and room for pets. Some activities available at the site are rock climbing, wildlife viewing, and fishing.
Places to Stay Outside Grand Teton National Park
If you are not too keen on having a bear as your neighbor while sleeping in a tent – these are excellent options for lodging near the Grand Teton trails.
- The Lodge at Jackson Hole is a rustic-style lodge that comes with a hot tub and a sauna. Facilities at the Jackson Hole Lodge include a spa and wellness center, bar, and swimming pools. I suggest this lodging if you are looking to ski around the area in the winter, as ski equipment is readily available on site. The lodge is only a 20 minutes drive from Teton National Park. (Rates start at$169 per night for two, book your room on Booking.com).
- Cowboy Village Resort is a western-style cabin only 12 minutes from the Grand Teton. Rooms are equipped with a living area and kitchenette. Outside you have a large deck, complete with a barbecue and picnic area. Some amenities include free Wi-Fi and parking, daily housekeeping, and pet-friendly rooms (Rates start at US$144 that sleeps four, book your room on Booking.com).
- Miller Park Lodge sits near Lake Jenny and is under 20 minutes from Grand Teton Park, which grants you a plethora of activities such as hiking, kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. The Lodge has spacious rooms featuring air-conditioning, flat-screen TV, and more. The Lodge has a sun terrace that gives you beautiful views of the Teton Mountains with a lovely picnic area. (Rates start at $209 per night for two, book your room on Booking.com).
Which one of these hikes in Grand Teton National Park are you most excited for?